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Misuse of E.164 numbering resources

Numbering resources are allocated, structured and their use defined by a series of ITU-T Recommendations. In its Resolution 20, WTSA-04 has noted that it is in the common interest of ITU-T Member States and Sector Members that the Recommendations and guidelines for international telecommunication numbering, naming, addressing and identification resources should be known, recognized and applied by all and used to build and maintain confidence of all in the related services.
 
However, it has come to the attention of SG2 that in some cases the use of numbers allocated by the ITU may not be in accordance with those Recommendations and decisions flowing from them (in particular but without limitation E.190, E.164, E.164.1, E.164.2, E.164.3, E.168.1, E.168, E.169, E.169.2, E.169.1, E.169.3). For example, SG2 has been made aware that such resources are being used in rogue software that accesses the Internet via international numbers without the full knowledge of customers (so-called web diallers). As a consequence, dissatisfaction amongst Sector Members’ customers has increased and complaints have been sent to both operators and regulators.
 
This situation has been brought to the attention of ITU members by Circular 9.
 
According to WTSA Resolution 20, “Procedures for allocation and management of international telecommunication numbering, naming, addressing and identification resources”, the assignment of international resources is a responsibility of the Director of TSB. The codes that are allocated by the Director of TSB should be used according to the purposes for which they have been allocated. In addition, WTSA-04 has instructed the Director of TSB, in close collaboration with Study Group 2, and any other relevant study groups, to follow up on the misuse of any numbering, naming, addressing and identification resources and inform the Council accordingly.
 
At its 3-11 May 2006 meeting, Study Group 2 approved ITU-T Recommendation E.156, Guidelines for ITU-T action on reported misuse of E.164 numbering resources. This recommendation provides guidelines for actions by the TSB Director upon receipt of reports of alleged misuse of E.164 telephone numbering resources, as indicated in WTSA Resolution 20.
 
A misuse of an E.164 international numbering resource occurs where the use of that numbering resource does not conform to the relevant ITU-T Recommendation(s) assignment criteria for which it was assigned or when an unassigned numbering resource is used in the provision of a telecommunication service. Different groups of E.164 international numbering resources have different assignment criteria, and therefore different forms of misuse may be identified. Where the misuse is alleged to occur in relation to the use of an international numbering resource, then the procedures in Recommendation E.156 shall apply.
In cases where such misuse is deemed to be occurring nationally, then the issue should be raised with the relevant national numbering plan administrator. Issues regarding national numbering plans are outside the scope of E.156.
Member States and Recognized Operating Agencies (ROAs) who are Sector Members or Associates of Study Group 2 are asked to use the Notification Form of possible misuse E.164 numbering resources to notify the TSB of situations that they are aware of that indicate possible misuse of numbering resources. In this context, “misuse” of numbering resources means that they are not being used in accordance with the relevant ITU-T Recommendation(s). In this respect, attention is drawn to 6.2.6 of ITU-T Recommendation E.190.
 
For those ROAs who are either Sector Members or Associates of Study Group 2, the notification of alleged misuse may be made directly to the TSB Director and copied to the Member State of the ROA making the notification.
 
For those Operating Agencies (OAs) who are not Sector Members or Associates of the ITU, notification should be submitted via its Member State.
 
In providing information regarding possible misuse, Member States and ROAs are asked to explain why they believe that a misuse is occurring, for example use of non-assigned resources, or incorrect routing of assigned resources, or use of resources for purposes other than those for which they were assigned.
 
All such notifications will be handled in accordance with the provisions of E.156.
 
Member States are also invited to publish in the ITU Operational Bulletin such communications as they think appropriate in connection with possible misuse of numbering resources that is their responsibility, for example, pointing out that particular numbering ranges are not assigned and therefore should not be routed.
It should be noted that TSB will not intervene in any disputes concerning numbering resources assigned to Member States.
 
The attention of Member States is drawn to Council Resolution 262, Complaints from Members of the Union against other Members of the Union, which invites Members of the Union to abstain from calling upon the Secretary General to acquaint other Members with their disputes, either by publication in a Notification or by any other means; and instructs the Secretary General to refer those Members submitting complaints against other Members to the terms of the present Resolution, and to advise them that, in consequence, he cannot comply with their request. This is a generic resolution that also applies to the Director of TSB and to notices for the ITU Operational Bulletin.